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Why the 2-in-1 PC's next big thing will be dual displays

Ever since the rise – and spectacular fall – of Windows 8, the 2-in-1 PC category (or "convertibles") has been on the increase. For a few years, there was some wild experimentation by manufacturers, with spinning displays (Lenovo ThinkPad Twist), or screens that rotated around in their frames (Dell XPS 12). But it was the Surface Pro form factor – perfected with Surface Pro 3 – that nailed the basics.

In 2018, Microsoft does not even advertise the Surface Pro as a tablet. Instead, it's "the ultimate laptop with the versatility of a studio and tablet." The biggest change, though, is mindshare. Laptops that can turn into tablets for inking with ease are not only accepted, they make up the most interesting PC category around.

But what comes next? Adding two displays may not be just for phones and pocketable devices. Here is why dual-screen laptops are likely on the horizon.

2-in-1s need to be revitalized

Arguably the most significant lesson Microsoft and its hardware partners learned since Windows Vista, and the decline of the PC, is stagnation equals death. Google is on the rise with its Chromebook vision. Apple is in the midst of transitioning its core base from macOS to iOS-type devices. The competition is fierce and shows no signs of slowing down. Microsoft is rightly concerned with losing ground to Google in education, and Apple is repositioning the iPad Pro as good enough with its new "What's a computer?" ad campaign.

Surface-style laptops are more abundant than ever with the top three PC manufacturers – HP, Dell, and Lenovo – all releasing convertible PCs for consumers, enterprise, and education. This category will only grow stronger with the new Always Connected PC category

A recent Microsoft patent reveals some dual-screen concepts.

A recent Microsoft patent reveals some dual-screen concepts.

But will the "tablet PC with floppy keyboard" always be the dominant design?

There is no need to throw our current convertible form factors for something new, but evolving the category is necessary to stay ahead. If digital inking, multitasking, and flexible form factors are driving forces for the 2-in-1 PC category, dual-display Ultrabooks begin to make sense.

Yoga Book – Considering the future past

The Lenovo Yoga Book came out in October 2016. It's a device that was very much ahead of its time, which is what makes it so fascinating. Its Halo Keyboard only appears when the device is powered on, and it looks like something out of a Black Mirror episode (in fact, you can spot it in one episode of season four).

The Yoga Book, though, is a flawed device. The Intel processor is merely OK. The typing experience is awkward. The display bezels are too large. But these are minor issues that – in theory – can be resolved through intelligent engineering. Adding a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor could do wonders.

As an example of how technology can solve these problems, consider the iPhone circa 2007. The phone famously rejected physical keyboards for a touch-typing experience, which many spurned. But technology prevailed, and touch-typing on phones is now the standard.

The neat trick the Yoga Book did was switch the Halo Keyboard to an area for inking – something that Windows 10 is increasingly focusing on these days. The execution was far from perfect, but given time to germinate, the driving idea behind it is loaded with possibilities.

The rise of dual-screen convertible PCs

The Acer Iconia 6120 from 2011 was one of the first dual-display laptops.

The Acer Iconia 6120 from 2011 was one of the first dual-display laptops.

While dual-screen laptops have always been a possibility, I think many factors make the concept ready for mainstream starting in 2019, including:

  • Lower costs to manufacture.
  • Better optimized for battery consumption.
  • Thin touch digitizers.
  • Overall better quality control (no more dead pixels).
  • Windows Core OS and Composable Shell.

Resolutions have jumped dramatically to 4K, AMOLED technology for laptops is now available, bezels are getting ultra-narrow, touch digitizers are super thin, and most importantly, prices have dropped because of mass production.

But the real driving force may be Windows 10 itself. Microsoft is going full throttle with digital inking, which is becoming increasingly popular for students.

Microsoft's composable shell, a.k.a., CShell combined with Windows Core OS is the next generation of Windows for the modern, mobile age. That Microsoft technology along with the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is going to allow for dual-screen apps and device experiences, something we'll see first with Project Andromeda, likely later this year.

But the idea behind Andromeda – a dual-screen device that folds – is not limited to just the pocketable form factor. The idea that Microsoft and its partners may be exploring how to adapt this form factor for Ultrabooks should be on your mind when considering the future of the PC.

The original Dell XPS 12 convertible circa Windows 8 was neat but never caught on.

The original Dell XPS 12 convertible circa Windows 8 was neat but never caught on.

Lenovo's Yoga Book was the first shot at this, but I assure you it is far from the last.

However, like the early days of Windows 8-era convertibles, we are likely to see some wild designs, wacky creations, and a few failures before the market finds a happy medium.

There also remain many questions to be worked out mainly around touch typing. While touch typing can get by on a smartphone, it is not clear that with today's technology it can replace a full keyboard with moving parts. But like the iPhone, this "problem" is solvable with the right engineering.

Embrace the new PC

Lenovo should refresh the Yoga Book with an ARM CPU, Windows Core OS.

Lenovo should refresh the Yoga Book with an ARM CPU, Windows Core OS.

The critical take away here is that the personal computer is far from dead. Microsoft knows PCs are its base, but it needs to continually push the form factor into new designs, solve new problems, address new concerns from customers.

The current iteration of Windows, with its legacy shell and OS components (like Win32), is a strength on the desktop but a weakness on mobile. Look for the continued jettisoning of the old Windows in the consumer market and new, radical designs for PCs going into 2019 and beyond.

Dual-screen laptops open a whole new avenue of creative options for users and a re-imagining of what a PC not only looks like but does. This is where Windows and the market are eventually headed. For those of you who hate change, fear not. Windows 10 Pro with its legacy UI and old Win32 components will remain as an option, as will "traditional" clamshell laptops with membrane keyboards.

But the PC as you know it is about to undergo a radical shift — and that's very exciting.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

82 Comments
  • Loved the Yoga Book concept, but even at release it was way too underpowered. Can't wait to see a Yoga Book 2. But... you mention foldable phones? I hope you're not thinking about Surface devices there, because MS are explicitly not making any phones. There is the coming Surface not-Phone of course, but no phones. What device were you thinking of? Is there some new rumour of an OEM phone based on WoA you've got wind of? Let us know! We all want to hear about that stuff ASAP.
  • "But... you mention foldable phones? "
    As a general category. We already have seen Android foldable phones (ZTE) and, of course, Samsung is expected. Right now, the current discussion around dual-displays is phones and mobile, but not laptops. That's all I meant. Correct, no phones from Microsoft on the map.
  • "Correct, no phones from Microsoft on the map." Was Andromeda cancelled?
  • There is all this thing that blogs don't want to call it a phone but in fact it is.
  • I think MS is not going to call it a phone either so...
  • Did you see it?
  • "Was Andromeda cancelled?"
    No? Andromeda is not a phone though. It's a pen-first, foldable tablet that can also make calls/SMS. Definitely won't be classified or marketed as a phone (even if you may be able to use it as one).
  • How big is each screen? 5"? 8"? If it is Axon M sized, I don't see how they can say it isn't a phone. The precedence has been set.
  • It's likely going to be around 7 inch size.
  • If each screen is 7", then you can make the argument it isn't a phone. Using Windows on such a small device will still suck though.
  • But you can just use it as a folded out device, which a vast majority of people will, regardless of OS. 
  • I think of the Ockel Sirius or GPD devices which have no telephony capabilities. But given this site and hardly any others report on these kinds of devices, I struggle with seeing it rise to popularity. Especially if all you do to these existing devices is add another folding screen. I'm very interested in them, sure (especially with phone), but a full pc on a 7" screen sounds very niche, not the next big trend.
  • Small PC == phone? PC can make calls = phone? What kinda logic? How many times you gonna repeat asking that?
  • Becuase it's subjective. A small tablet that can do calls through Skype isn't a phone. 
  • It's semantics. Phones have been computers for quite some time, but computers somehow aren't phones even though they have been making calls for quite some time.
  • The difference is computer basically use VOIP over the internet. Phones use GSM and CDMA networks to make calls through their providers. Most new phones use 4 LTE networks that require SIM cards. 
  • Is There any chances to hear more about Andromeda at build 2018
  • I doubt it.
  • The build version last year Zac shows running on hp elite x 3 was Andromeda build
  • So what's old is new again.  I remember the Acer Iconia back in 2011.  It felt so futuristic and I loved the dual screen idea. http://techland.time.com/2011/03/29/first-look-at-acers-dual-screen-no-k...
  • Folks I predict Microsoft will hold an event in NYC on February 12, 2018 to announce the highly anticipated “Surface Not-Phone,” or maybe just “Snot Phone.” The Surface Division will not fold anytime soon, although the Snot Phone will so that it can fit into pockets. It will feature a revolutionary hinge and camera design. Snapdragon 845, CShell, and eSIM. It will have Alcantara backing and a full-on Surface Pen. “Oh, and one more thing…” It will be able to make phone calls. Microsoft might even preview the Snot Phone 2019/2020 edition to show they’re in it for the long-term. Look for an emphasis on regaining “trust” and a greater commitment to international markets. ……… Pay no attention to trolls like Rodney. Snot Phone will be great for some. In two years, Snot Phone will be great for most. I’ll take mine in burgundy, please.
  • Hahaha :-D
  • I'll take my Snot Phone in a nice creamy yellow please.  I hope it’s not too slippery!
  • Microsoft, please don't call it The Snot Phone.  I think that was a joke.
  • It's an intriguing idea. My thought is that the market has a long way to go to convert productivity users to touch keyboarding. Everyone got used to touch screen typing for things like a quick e-mail and SMS, but when reviews for devices are still commenting on the quality of "key travel" and Mechanical keyboards are continuing on well past their theoretical technological expiration, I'm hard pressed to see a successful push to convince the working class end users that keyboards don't matter anymore. Anyone remember those bluetooth laser keyboards...those never really took off either. I'm not saying it isn't gonna happen...just that it's probably a far longer road than should be expected.
  • I think you hit the nail on the head. I seriously doubt that dual screen latops will take off in the next two years for the simple reason that touch typing sucks when compared to using a real keyboard. Unless some revolutionary new way of typing is invented I seriously don't see how Daniel Rubino can be so confident in the rise of dual screen laptops. I'm sure they will be release but as an extremelly niche option for artists/designers and not as a mainstream product.
  • Dual screens will still be useful even if they're not meant/optimized for touch
  • Not just artists and designers but musos and video editors on the move. Artists are not that niche either... Ever watched the credits for a blockbuster, there are thousands of names of people who are well positioned for a dual screen device, they waill want all that screen space for the tools and windows in their graphics, sound and video apps. Also think about this,turn that sucker on its side and you can open it up like a magazine, remember the days of reading books and newspapers? Trains will be packed with dual screeners, it'll be like the old days of broadsheets. I think when people see these put to good use, just like with the single screen tablets, people will folloing suite. Soon enough the importance of key travel will seem pretty niche itself.
  • Mechanical keyboards are still around, because they are simply better. And no marketing push to "convince" people that their opinion is wrong can change that. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Keyboards have always been an integral part of the PC platform and they will always be, until the PC completely dissapears.
  • Ughhhh... Such limited thinking and lack of vision, really irritating. You could become an OEM with that attitude. These devices will either be done in a typical half-arsed fashion as per usual OEM behaviour, and will fail miserably... or they will be done properly with vision and focus groups to make something people actually desire. These are the basics of doing it right:
    - flexible OLED display providing one seamless display when open to 180 degrees, no crevice (technology already exists)
    - aspect ratio of 1.4142:1, this means the same ratio x 2 screens, or rotated and open x 1 screen (this is just common sense)
    - physical transparent overlay for keyboard, or built-in adaptive physical key-shaping on the screen (technology already exists)
    - ^and/or external physical keyboard with bluetooth
    - device should be able to be used in stand-up mode (around 160 degrees, the two halves of the display are vertical resulting in one large landscape display at 1.4142:1), no extra stand, with external keyboard
  • I just don't know why is Windows 10 less and less touch-friendly by every "big" update. And the tablet mode is still same garbage since 2015, there is not any improvement or change..
  • Because Windows PCs do not need touch. It is nice for the occasional use, but it isn't a requirement and it certainly cannot be the primary interface. PC experiences require a keyboard and an interface designed for the accuracy of a mouse. I am sure Microsoft has data on how often people use the touchscreen on Windows 10 and they haven't put much time into it because those numbers aren't favorable.
  • Dude.... You must've came out a black hole, because your complete makeup has nothing to do with this dimension.
    ............
    Let's set tech, and gadgets aside... In your personal life, let me guess. Just bare with me.
  • He is out to lunch. Obviously never used a Surface or Surface Book. I use the tablet mode and touch all the time.
  • When you say 'bare with me', you want to get naked together or just a typing problem? 😘
  • Then MS should delete whole tablet mode and tell people, that they should buy an iPad, and not the tablet with windows... as they did with WindowsPhones..
  • It depends a lot on the device you choose. Users of a Surface Pro use touch all the time while users of a classic laptop with a touch screen won't use it much. Once you switch to a Surface Pro you can hardly go back... The dream would be a borderless 15" version (and no I don't want a Book as it has no Kickstand nor a typecover...)
  • Yes, MS nailed it with Windows 8.1 Two separate UIs for separate purposes both optimized for their particular use case and switchable between both at any time at the users command. Now Winodws 10 is 5 steps backwards in this regard.
  • Yup Im still saying that Windows 8.1 was the best windows dor tablets ever made
  • Do you know there is on-screen keyboard and even touch pad? Given the fact that old people who grew up with mechanical keyboards will be retiring, the next gen has been using touch as early as 2 years of age.
  • And whats the problem with improving tablet mode which u can active in action center
  • On- screen keyboards were available even in XP Tablet OS; what is peculiar about true Convertible devices, like the Book, is that you have all the advantages of a Tablet as well as the ones of a laptop, included the mechanical keyboard.
  • You don't get out much do you bleached?
  • I'm sorry, bleached, but I disagree: we've already got a touch UI on Windows 10 desktop machines, and it's terrible! Look at every part of the Windows 10 UI on your desktop machine; it is all touch-based and keyboard/mouse unfriendly apart from the legacy W7 stuff they haven't converted yet.  Look at the tiles in the Start menu and compare them with the labelled icons and text list in the W7 start menu.*  Look at the gigantic File Save and File Open dialogs which take up an entire window.  Look at how much space Settings takes up compared with Control Panel. I think my mouse mileage on my dual-screen mouse/keyboard workstation must have tripled since the introduction of W10, and I hate it. Don't misunderstand me: I love W10 on my hybrid with its touch screen; I am not "anti-W10" in any way.  I am just anti- foisting a mobile UI on desktop users.  Honestly, for keyboard/mouse desktop users W10 is a significant step backwards in terms of the UI. And it's not just me: Apple and Linux desktop machines have resisted the creep towards making all the common dialogs and other UI chrome gigantic enough to hit with your thumb.  Thank goodness. I repeat: the W10 UI is great on a touch-orientated machine like the Surface range (or my Sony hybrid), but for heavy duty, dual-screen mouse/keyboard workstations it's worse than W7.  Those of you claiming bleached is out of touch have obviously never had to do any real work on a real workstation. *Yes, I know you can make the tiles as small as W7 icons, but then they lose their all-important text label.
  • Sorry Daniel but I am totally confused by your article.  What do YOU mean by dual screen? Is it one screen for viewing and another for input (which is what you appear to be saying) ?  Where is the benefit in that against a touch screen and keyboard? I can see it for games where you could have a full-blown cockpit of controls on the second screen, but for general computing, fast typing on a flat and unforgiving hard screen is a pain.  Indeed, for my Android tablet I have recently bought a bluetooth keyboard so I can actually type on it.  Swipe input is OK on my phone, but with a bigger on-screen keyboard on a tablet, it becomes more of an effort with far further distance to swipe, and I find more errors.
  • "What do YOU mean by dual screen? Is it one screen for viewing and another for input (which is what you appear to be saying) ? Where is the benefit in that against a touch screen and keyboard?"
    It's open to interpretation by OEM. Could be used as a keyboard, or a second display. For instance, Yoga Book switches between a keyboard and an area for inking. It has dual use.
  • it won't happen until there's a way to type efficiently on a virtual keyboard with the same confort, speed and accuracy that you have on a classic keyboard. The Yoga Book showed exactly that: its not a matter of being underpowered at all, it was simply useless because typing on it was a pain. 
  • Agreed.
  • "it won't happen until there's a way to type efficiently on a virtual keyboard with the same confort, speed and accuracy that you have on a classic keyboard."
    I mean, I spent a paragraph talking about that precisely saying it's a solvable engineering problem, like how iPhone changed touch-typing.
  • Asserting that doesn't make it true, Daniel.  And while we are waiting for it to happen, some of us have got real work to do on real workstations.  For sheer productivity nothing compares with a dual screen workstation with mechanical keyboard and a real mouse.  Nothing.
  • You say dual display laptops is the next big thing. Please tell me useful scenarios for this type of device that compensate the lack of mechanical keyboard and appeal to the massive public.
  • I'd rather let the OEMs do that, not my job.
  • I agree; I can express an opinion but I also need to argument it.
  • I thought the new gen is already so familiar with a touch keyboard? Mechanical keyboards are going to be a niche.
  • The best scenario is two screens with both touch AND pen, exactly the same, perfectly symmetrical, a continuous unbroken workspace( but for the seam) , I DREAM of such a device. It'll make sense once you use it or see someone else use it.
  • Any idea if there will be a Yoga Book 2? I was hoping for some announcement at CES, but now that there hasn't been...
  • Dell XPS 11 anyone? The flat keyboard has been done, wasn't a success then, highly unlikely to be one now.
  • No technology can fix the fact that touch screen keyboards can't be used to 'touch-type' where you look at the words being typed and not at the keyboard.  If a computer dosn't have a physical keyboard (or is removed at the time of use), then it's a tablet or phone. (IMO)
  • This is cool.. I use the pen on my Surface more than anything. I couldn't live without the pen. It has replaced the keyboard for me on PC.. To have another screen that would move the touch keyboard down, and out of the way?... Genius! I would by this immediately. Please let MS build a dual screen Surface.
  • Absolutely agree, this will be like the whole ' I need buttons on my smartphone story'. The doubters here were possibly doubters then. We've already imaginesd the possibilies and are  just waiting for the OEMs to wake up and serve them up.
  • Chuzz Bot: I can see that you've never had to do any real work on a PC.  When you're punching out a thousand-plus words per hour you need a proper keyboard, and until you can post on YouTube a video of you consistently typing 30 or more words per minute on a touch screen - including corrections - I'll continue in that belief. FWIW, 30 wpm is actually a very leisurely pace for a "real" touch-typist.  ("Touch typing" used to mean typing by touch on a mechanical keyboard - i.e. without looking at the keyboard).  Good typists can exceed 60 wpm consistently.  Let's see you do half of that on an on-screen keyboard - maintained over a realistic period of a few minutes.
  • rodneyej: I agree with you about the pen, although I have a Sony hybrid rather than a Surface. But honestly (and no offence intended) I can tell you aren't a big content creator.  If you had to punch out a thousand words per hour or more, or professionally edit an HD movie, or a soundtrack, or design a component in SolidWorks, or write a load of C# code, then you wouldn't feel that way.  For those applications a mechanical keyboard with a real mouse wipes the floor with any kind of touch-based UI, with or without a pen.  I know this because I've got both: a Windows hybrid and a Windows workstation and I do all of the above, but only on the workstation!  :-)
  • I started reading this article, and for a second I thought this was a "Warditorial" and not something written by Daniel!
  • Why. What do you disagree with?
  • I am still wondering what would the second screen be used for... I used Tablets, only Convertible ones, specifically because having a keyboard the format was a perfect replacement for my laptop; and this is also the reason why I have a Book and not a Surface Pro which I consider a Slate more than a true Convertible.
  • Ahh, memories: https://s.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2008/12/w700ds2.jpg
  • Well if the second screen is going to be the keyboard it's going to fly and crash like one of those pre Wright brothers air-o-planes. Maybe if they do two horizontal displays with a real keyboard.
  • They Can start with big digital screen trackpads first.
  • I thought it is already available? Like I have just used it yesterday.
  • I am talking about trackpad with ips or whatever display technology which can be used as secondary display to provide media controls,app specific controls,S-pen like digitizer support for quick note taking.
    It will be better concept than Apple's touch bar.
  • It's like combining 2 Surface Pro's with a hinge.
  • Exciting Article!  We need some killer app, that utilizes so much PC power, the old android devices cant even run it. HUD facial recognition, with FB, MATCH and  linkedin. in augmented reality glasses. Livestreaming is optional.  Foldable 8" ARM Win10 cshell would be nice. Hot swap standard batteries.
  • I must have my dumb head on this morning. I've read this article forwards and backwards and still no idea what you mean by "dual screen". Also, the comments would be better if there weren't so many clone clowns.
  • This just shows a total lack of understanding why PCs are still around on your part Daniel. If you take away keyboards, you take away the key advantage of PCs - productivity. A PC without a physical keyboard is a toy, just like Tablets. The Yoga Book is a very nice complimantary device to a laptop, but its not a laptop replacement. Its a replacement for a tablet. There have been many attempts to change keyboards or replace them with Touchscreens, none of them succeeded. The only example, the iPhone, only succeeded, because keyboards on phones were an awkward experience anyway. And other than "we have to do something new, no matter if its better" I don't see any reason why this should happen.
  • Agreed
  • "A PC without a physical keyboard is a toy, just like Tablets." Totally agree!  Touch is fine, but if you want to punch out a thousand words per hour you can forget the toys - you need a proper keyboard (and preferably a real mouse, too). Productivity is really what desktop PCs, in particular, are all about.  Touch-only machines are a joke if you're a serious content creator.
  • I would add some force feedback to feel not just edges on screen, but also exact letters, characters / symbols, being able to feel depth / different resistance, besides other things to use screen like Dial. However, it should be no more than side job, they should focus on making at least 2 hololens/AR glasses-like devices with one being pricy for professional work, one being cheap for use on streets and home, available to most users. Only that way they can catch some customers, feedback support, ultimately lauch back services they had to kill. (while comparable apple build on its own services, be it online or offline, homepod is last example) Computers may stay some time, but ultimately AR world is the nxt thing, I mean just having smart gloves and smart headset with connection to internet that you can take anywhere is all you need. Headset will see you whole for whatever gestures you do to use them in communication, gaming or for control of AR PC, tablet, phone, watches or device you make, be it home , on street or in jungle. Gloves or maybe even other gadgets will sense precize movements of your body, hands, fingers, (xxx), ... and you will feel feedback of AR devices. Computing power may be shared for price, from you or using someone elses who is near you or over internet. Your ultimate double screened pc will be just old brick, ones using this tech will see as something so outdated, they will laugh at you. And this is not some fantasy, its what can be done today, with today tech. Its all about having less physical hardware, so ultimately it will be cheaper than all, no, Any device, because AR thing are what will you buy(same as with games and game consoles).
  •  I definitely want one of these dual displays laptops. In fact I've been nagging for years about it. There are plenty of laptops for the people who wnat that, this is for people who need different types of controls. These second screens are very useful for programs that have timelines and many windows. Digital Audio Workstations, Video editor, illustration , animation. 3d applications. All these need a great deal of space for pallettes and on desktops are invariably used with two screen. They also need a keyboard and a whole bunch of macros and shortcuts are neccessary. With current tech, in the portable scenarios we do't get a screen for palettes and with larger 2 in ones , there's no kickstand to prevent screen flop and users are expected to flip their keyboard and bluetooth a spare.... what an absurd idea. The answer for these creatice users , who rely on these beasties for income, not just browsing and twitter, is a dual touch and pen screen. It is SO obvious and abouot time already. With a digital screen for this users could easily set up custom macro buttons to utilise the other wasted space nelow ( or I rather think above ) the keyboard. THey could be colour coded and display custom icons.  Yes yes, some will say I must have 'physical bttons' , you there will be plenty of them for you but remember when soooo many people said they would never use a smart phone for the same reasons. Anyone here got buttons on their phone?   I think the smelly old and dull physical keyboard should be put out to pasture to collect dust and leave finger cheese where it belongs, out of sight.  
  • I wonder about the ergonomics of these devises? It's bad enough for the body to sit typing on a laptop even if a lot of improvements have been done with keyboard and screen. A lot of the comments bring up touch-typing but what is worse with typing on a flat screen is that you don get any softening of the down-strike. It is very tiring for long time.
  • "The next big thing will be dual displays"? For goodness' sake, is Windows Central run by children?  Does anyone seriously think that putting dual displays on anything can possibly count as a "big thing"? Have we lost so much perspective that we get excited about trivia like this?  I've thought for several years now that technological progress seems to be slowing down (being extremely old I've got a much longer perspective than the editors and contributors of Windows Central, apparently), and actually I genuinely think I'm right.  Nonsense like this article confirms my fears.
  • I loved the Yoga Book concept, and it has one of the best designs I have seen, I think the watchband hinge fits perfectly with the two slim rectangular thin parts, just a lovely piece of design. I hope they keep the concept and improve the functionality. To me the Yoga Book should become one thing with Microsoft OneNote, Ink, Sticky Notes and any teaching/classroom app from Microsoft. I see it as a great annotation/study/creativity tool. Imagine students in a classroom sketching things, recording, writing down stuff. All goes into something like OneNote. They can then access OneNote from their phone or their PC, so their work is always there. I think the concept of the digitizer replacing the keyboard with a laptop design is just right. Using the pen on an upright display for a long time is just not ergonomic, tiring, Plus, no matter the position of the display, it makes it dirty! In one word: wrong. That's why I don't like the Surface thing, even if you use it horizontally. A pen must be used to write on an horizontal surface, possibly dedicated. One thing i would add, not sure how, is an optional foldable wireless keyboard similar to the Surface ones. I would have this thing magnetically attached to the Yoga Book when carried around and then detached when in use, or better, designed as a foldable cover that can also used to put back the Yoga Book when not used. So the students can choose to bring only the Yoga Book or also the keyboard and use it together with the digitizer surface for example in One Note. Type stuff, then also draw a sketch or hand-write, then back to typing.
  •  The foldable keyboard could be magnetically attached to the bottom edge of the device and then be used in 3 different modes: Just attached to the bottom edge of the Yoga Book, and open in front of the keyboard, so one can type and use the pen together. Placed onto the digitizer to replace the "touch" keyboard if needed. Stays in place magnetically. As a cover, so attached like in point 1 and then when the Yoga Book is closed it just folds onto the A-cover of the device and stays attached there.